1966 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football game

The 1966 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football game is considered among the most significant and most controversial games in college football history played between Michigan State and Notre Dame. The game was played in Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium on November 19, 1966. Michigan State entered the contest 9–0 ranked No. 2, while Notre Dame entered 8–0 and rated No. 1. Notre Dame elected to not try for a score on the series the match finished in a 10–10 tie. Notre Dame went on to win or share the national title in fourteen polls (including the AP and UPI); Michigan State won or shared in three small surveys, and Alabama, who finished with the only undefeated and untied album, won 2 minor polls.
Notre Dame, which had won a national championship in 1964 (non consensus), ranked No. 1 both the AP and Coaches’ polls. Defending National Champion Michigan State, who had completed the 1965 season No. 1 in the UPI Coaches’ survey, but was upset by UCLA in the Rose Bowl the past year, entered the match ranked No. 2 in the polls. The Fighting Irish, whose bid for a national championship two years earlier was snuffed out by USC, were hungry, while the Spartans had background and home-field advantage on their side. This was the first time in 20 years a school football matchup was awarded the”Game of the Century” tag by the national press, and ABC had the country’s viewers in its grip, with equal portions Notre Dame lovers and Michigan State fans. It was the very first time in the 30-year history of this AP poll the No. 1 team played the No. 2 team. The Spartans had defeated Notre Dame the previous year 12–3 holding Notre Dame to minus-12 yards rushing.
A fortuitous quirk in scheduling attracted these two teams together late in the season. They weren’t even supposed to fulfill when the 1966 programs were drawn up. Michigan State had only nine games scheduled (even though they were permitted to possess eight ) while Notre Dame was originally scheduled to play with Iowa that week, as had been the custom since 1945. But in 1960, the Hawkeyes abruptly dropped the Irish out of their program, from 1964 onward. Michigan State was available and agreed to return to Notre Dame’s schedule in 1965–66.
The game was not shown live on nationwide TV. Each group was allotted one nationwide television appearance and also two regional television appearances each season. Notre Dame had used their national TV slot at the season opening game against Purdue. ABC executives didn’t want to show the match everywhere but the regional area, but pressure from the West Coast and the South (to the tune of 50,000 letters) made ABC atmosphere the game on tape delay. ABC relented and blacked from the Michigan State-Notre Dame match in two countries (allegedly North Dakota and South Dakota), so it could technically be called a regional broadcast. It would also be the first time a college football game was broadcast to Hawaii and to U.S. troops in Vietnam. [5] The official attendance was announced at 80,011 (111% potential ) and was the most attended game in Michigan State football history at the time (the current record is 80,401 on Sept. 22, 1990 vs. Notre Dame).
Notre Dame was coached by Ara Parseghian and Michigan State was coached by Duffy Daugherty, both college legends.
Much of the ABC telecast footage survives. The second half exists in its entirety, as do both scoring drives starting in the next quarter (Michigan State’s field goal and Notre Dame’s touchdown).

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